The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the Canada-headquartered major global bank, is set to open a cryptocurrency exchange, according to a report from The Logic.
The media outlet claims it has learned that the RBC wants to allow customers to trade in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum for investment purposes, as well as providing a platform for in-store and online crypto purchases.
The bank also reportedly plans to include offering customers cryptocurrency bank accounts, although the media outlet says RBC has not responded directly to request for comments about the proposed exchange launch.
RBC has registered four cryptocurrency banking-related patents in the United States, and has been exploring possible blockchain technology banking applications since 2017.
One of the accompanying texts filed with the patent paperwork read as follows, again per The Logic,
“To individual users, managing cryptographic keys and transacting with different cryptographic assets can be a challenge. In some situations, cryptographic asset transactions may take time to be confirmed, and/or may not be compatible or supported by merchant systems or point-of-sale devices.”
"I can’t think of one of the big banks anywhere in the world that has a patent that directly relates to a crypto exchange," Marc Kaufman, a Washington, D.C.-based partner at Rimon Law, was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, David McKay, CEO of RBC, said that the bank is experimenting with blockchain for tokenization, perhaps even private equity: "Blockchain is an opportunity in the future to take assets that are less liquid and make them more liquid. I think that’s exciting."
Should the RBC go ahead with the crypto exchange launch, it might immediately become the most prominent domestic exchange in the sector – and a very major international player. Per the bank’s most recent quarterly report, its net income for Q3 was USD 2.5 billion, while its quarterly revenue was USD 8.7 billion. It had more than USD 1 trillion in assets at the end of Q3.
The RBC also claims it is one of the top 15 banks globally based on market capitalization. As well as its Canadian operations, RBC says 23% of its revenues come from its activities in the United States, and 15% from elsewhere in the world.
And the bank says it employs more than 86,000 staff members, with a client base of over 16 million.